Monday, September 22, 2008

The Green Fairy in Tokyo

Of all the drinks that are available to me in Tokyo the one I never thought about was Absinthe. The odd green drink of legend never crossed my mind in the land of the raising sun. I did not give much thought to the idea that the Japanese had developed a taste for the green fairy. Considering the rep that Absinthe has, and the Japanese government`s view of anything that provides a little extra groove, I assumed that the chances of trying the stuff out in Tokyo was next to nothing. Yet again, Tokyo has surprised and amazed me.
I was throwing back a few at the Hub in Kita-Senju on Sunday after work. You know, just the usual drinking binge nothing special. I wanted to try something new and realized that I had never really dug deep into the Hub`s offerings. I usually just stick to a tower beer or a Cuba Libra and all the good with the world. Well, after downing a tower beer(one liter of beer) I desired a change of pace. Towards the back of the drink menu there is was; Absinthe Classic. I could not believe my eyes. A drink that I had heard so much about yet was never allowed to have due to some fucked up US law(which was recently lifted at the end of 2007). I had to have one; or two.



I want up to the counter and order one. The gal gave me some messed up attitude but served me one glass of the strange green drink of lore. By the way, why do so many gals who work at all the Hubs around Tokyo have a messed up attitude? I guess the world may never know. Anyway, I got this thing back to my table and just kind of stared at it for a bit. I really did know what I had in front of me. Over the years I had heard so much stuff about Absinthe that I was almost a little afraid to try it. I have heard tales of actually seeing a sexy green fairy to being able to gain the power of witchcraft. I only half believed most of the stuff I had heard. After all it is just a really power drink that gives you a slightly different effect from normal alcohol; plus it is green!

Well, after taking my first taste I was hooked. It taste really good! This is due to the manner in which Absinthe is served. It is a really power drink so sugar is dissolved into it using a special spoon and really expensive mineral water. This gives it a nice sweet taste. Although, there is no getting around flower taste which comes cutting right though the sugar.

The thing which has given Absinthe such a lore is the fact that it contains a chemical called thujone. Thujone is a psychedelic chemical found in Absinthe which acts on the GABA receptors in the brain. It is believed to induce a slight psychedelic experience to the person who drinks Absinthe. Although, this fact has never been proven. Well, after drinking two traditional Absinthe drinks and one hard cocktail(without bring watered down). I have to admit that I did not feel drunk but not sober either. It felt like some strange mix of a alcohol and weed. I felt as if spiders were gently crawling on my skin. You know, kind of like a whole body tingle. I do not know if Thujone was causing that or if my body reacts different to strong alcohol due to my experiences with moonshine. Either way Absinthe is a great drink and I suggest it to anyone. So, the next time you are at the Hub order you a few rounds of Absinthe and see how it effects you.

1 comment:

john turningpin said...

The best absinthe I have ever had in my life was from these guys: http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/Jade.html

It was so incredibly, overwhelmingly joyous that me and the other two guys that pitched in for the $100 bottle were giggling the whole time. We did it the traditional sugar way, but found by far we prefered just taking capful-sized shots. Utter heaven.